On August 4, MTV’s Jersey Shore gang will take their GTL adventures overseas for a much-publicized trip to the motherland — that is, Florence, Italy. In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, guest columnist and Jersey Shore exec producer Sallyann Salsano writes about the culture clash that ensued, including car accidents, crying, and lots of cobblestone wipeouts. Check out an excerpt after the jump.
If you know anything about me, it’s this: I’m up for a challenge. As a result, I happily took on the dare that MTV put in front of me: Take eight kids whose main concerns are fighting, smushing, and fist-pumping on the road to Florence, Italy. Now, I grant you that this was a daunting task, as most Americans don’t understand the Jersey Shore kids, never mind a bunch of Italians who don’t speak English — but like I said, I enjoy a good challenge.
To be honest, at first I figured this would be pretty easy. I came up with what I thought would be a good plan. Step 1: As soon as we got to Italy I’d just explain, “Listen, this is a tight-knit group of friends, they happen to be Italian just like you lovely people, and they’re planning a vacation to the motherland.” Seems kind of tame and harmless, no? Step 2: I would introduce them by their proper names, and by that of course I mean “Snooki,” “Situation,” “J-Woww,” and “Sammi Sweetheart,” all of which I assumed would be fairly common names in Italy. Step 3: I would then explain that they are all very interested in education and as a result they would like to visit and learn about the Italian culture — ya know, tanning salons, nail salons, Laundromats, nightclubs, bars, limoncello, and pizza.
Despite my easy-to-follow plan, things did not get off to a good start. The more I tried to tell our new Italian friends that these kids would figure it out for themselves if you just pointed them in the direction of a tanning bed, a gym, or a club with insanely loud beats, the more they offered up options that are the typical “must-see” places for visitors. Everyone in the city seemed to think I should be showing these kids statues, paintings, sculptures, museums, churches, fancy restaurants, bridges, historic ruins, and architecture. Apparently they haven’t seen the show.
It was at this point that I decided to stop using the language barrier as a problem and instead use it to my advantage. I’m fairly confident everyone there thought I was just not understanding what they were telling me, so that became the new plan. Let’s just say I started nodding and smiling a lot. This new attitude resulted in pretty much what I expected: 50 straight days and nights of car accidents, clubbing, fights, random sex between cast members, screaming, crying, gelato, and, of course, tons of pizza.